trouble setting up wireless

Warren Block wblock at
Sun Jun 9 15:44:05 UTC 2013

On Sun, 9 Jun 2013, Alexander Kapshuk wrote:

>>> On 06/09/13 01:24, Warren Block wrote:
>>>> First, check the easy things: is there a physical switch to enable 
>>>> wireless?  Is it on?
>>> There is no physical switch to enable wireless there.
>> Notebooks also have function-key combinations to enable and disable the 
>> radio.
> I've been able to use wireless on this laptop on FreeBSD 9.0. I just followed 
> the instructions in the handbook and that was it. This time round, I seem to 
> have done the same thing, but there's probably something I must be doing 
> wrong.

There were probably changes between the two, but I have not noticed any 

>>>> Please post the output of 'ifconfig -a'. 
>>> root at box0:/root # ifconfig -a
>>> ath0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 2290
>>>        ether 00:24:2c:5e:06:f2
>>>        media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11g
>>>        status: associated
>>> wlan0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 
>>> 1500
>>>        ether 00:24:2c:5e:06:f2
>>>        media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect (autoselect)
>>>        status: no carrier
>>>        ssid "" channel 12 (2467 MHz 11g)
>>>        regdomain 103 indoor ecm authmode WPA1+WPA2/802.11i privacy OFF
>>>        txpower 20 bmiss 7 scanvalid 450 bgscan bgscanintvl 300 bgscanidle 
>>> 250
>>>        roam:rssi 7 roam:rate 5 protmode CTS wme burst roaming MANUAL
>>>        bintval 0
>> I don't see anything obviously wrong.  Is an access point within range? Has 
>> someone set it to have a "hidden" SSID?
> The reason why ssid is empty in the output of ifconfig above, is because I've 
> omitted it in /etc/rc.conf.

That's not what I was suggesting.  Most access points allow the SSID to 
be "hidden".  It's not really hidden, this does not greatly increase 
security, but it does make the SSID impossible to see on a scan and 
requires adding scan_ssid=1 to /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.

> Here's my /etc/rc.conf:
> cat /etc/rc.conf
> hostname="box0"
> ifconfig_re0="DHCP"
> sshd_enable="YES"
> moused_enable="YES"
> ntpd_enable="YES"
> powerd_enable="YES"
> # Set dumpdev to "AUTO" to enable crash dumps, "NO" to disable
> dumpdev="AUTO"
> wlans_ath0="wlan0"
> ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"
> hald_enable="YES"
> dbus_enable="YES"
> linux_enable="YES"

DHCP is enabled for both wired and wireless, but only one instance can 
be running at once.  Comment out the wired section:

And try again with just the wireless.

If you want both, there is an example using lagg(4) in the Handbook:

But first, get just the wireless working by itself.

> Quick question...
> The ath_hal(4) man page says that the support for my wireless card is handled 
> via ath_hal. It seems to be compiled into the kernel, but I'm not seeing it 
> being loaded like the wpa_ and ath_pci modules are.

'kldstat' should show it.

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